CM . . .
. Volume XVI Number 3. . . .September 18, 2009
Tansi is an engaging pictorial dictionary of Cree words directly related to the world of very young children. The layout follows a consistent pattern with a large photograph, accompanied by a Cree word, on the left side of the double page spread and four related smaller photographs on the right hand side, all are on a soft blue background.
Each of the smaller photographs is framed in large blocks of colour (red, blue, green and yellow) and accompanied by their respective Cree word. There is bound to be some confusion for non-Cree readers, however. For example, in the page excerpted above, the block of colour framing the picture of the child wearing red clothing is in red while the blue frame surrounding the child wearing a brown hat may lead one to misinterpret “osawak” to mean blue.
The English translations provided above are not included with the illustrations but must be located in the glossary which is available at the end of the book. There is not, unfortunately, a pronunciation guide available for non-Cree speakers nor any indication that the vocabulary is reflective of just one several distinct Cree dialects spoken across Canada. Tansi is a worthwhile addition to collections of First Nation materials.
Gail de Vos teaches at the School of Library and Information Studies for the University of Alberta and is the author of eight books on storytelling and folklore.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.